Children develop at a pace as individual as they are, which can sometimes make monitoring and encouraging that growth a challenge. A national organization, headquartered inside Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, has resources that can help.
The “Help Me Grow National Center” recently got to spread some good tips and resources to help your child develop. They came from a federally-launched initiative called “Birth To Five: Watch Me Thrive.”
“It’s for any parent, any family with any degree of interest or concern in their child’s development and behavior,” said Kimberly Martini-Carvell, the Exective Director of the Help Me Grow National Center.
The program is designed to educate parents on all steps of development , and the broad windows of time when they usually occur. Two of the newer resources are a milestone-tracker app that parents can download onto their phone. It helps parents to encourage certain age-appropriate developments, and to be more aware, and hopefully more apt to speak to an expert, when there’s a delay in a child reaching some milestones.
“Often, you’ll even see in the research, child health providers and pediatricians default to parents own perception of how their child is doing far more than any kind of test or screening or assessment,” said Martini-Carvell.
There is also what’s called a Developmental Screening Passport for all the various screening a child undergoes, to help a parent keep them organized, which in turn can help them communicate a child’s progress to doctors, teachers, and anyone else who could benefit by knowing how he or she is doing.
“We, as parents, do not do very well from the standpoint of remembering the ages at which our children accomplish different milestones,” said Dr. Paul Dworkin, EVP for Community Child’s Health at CCMC, “It’s important to be able to have accurate records and then share them.”